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Holiday Gift Books

Visitation Street by

I fell right into this gripping, empathic crime novel, and I didn't come back up until I finished it. Visitation Street is the story of a young girl who goes missing after a night of adolescent adventures, and the complex effects of her loss on the diverse neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn. It is the characters who really shine in this novel--I couldn't stop thinking about them for weeks.
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Kat
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ISBN: 9780062249890
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Dennis Lehane Books/Ecco - July 9th, 2013

Longbourn by Jo Baker

Honestly, this book is perfect for so many people. Anyone who loves Jane Austen will adore it, of course, but fans of Downtown Abbey will appreciate the upstairs-downstairs angle as well. And if you're shopping for someone who needs a lush, brainy, escapist, beautifully written novel? This is it. Get them a stash of good tea to go with it, and they'll love you forever.
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Kat
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ISBN: 9780385351232
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf - October 8th, 2013

Where the Moon Isn't by Nathan Filer

Two brothers sneak out at night for an innocent adventure, but only one returns home. So begins the premise of debut author’s Nathan Filer’s novel. Narrated by 19-year old Mathew who is being treated for schizophrenia, Mathew is determined to tell the story of what actually happened ten years before when his brother went missing. In a voice that is as funny as it is heart-wrenching, this novel is so fully its own—one that must be read and not described: “‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’” How’s that for an opener? For fans of Silver Linings Playbook, and anyone that loves characters who are different and therefore real. For the reader who upturns rocks to see what’s underneath—the reader that loves a story where shadow reveals beauty, and hope seeps through.

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S.B.
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ISBN: 9781250026989
Availability: Out of Print
Published: St. Martin's Press - November 5th, 2013

Brewster by Mark Slouka

 I started reading this novel and then couldn’t stop. I have to admit that I swore (in that way you do when deeply impressed—quietly and under my breath) because Mark Slouka has written a novel that hits hard and then keeps on going. Telling a coming-of-age story about a misfit set of friends growing up in a working class town in 1968, Slouka captures the loyalty and desperation that forms between boys when fathers are flawed and mothers are absent. This book breathes life—in its honesty, its struggle, its complexity, and its undercurrent of reverberating compassion and understated grace. This is the novel for the reader that is brave enough to fall in love with its characters and watch as the gun goes off and the race begins—hoping, rooting, and praying for their stride to hold out—where each foot fall is the miracle and it is the finish line that is the wonder, instead of the win.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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Brewster: A Novel Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393239751
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 5th, 2013

The House Girl by Tara Conklin

Tara Conklin's novel alternates between present day New York and 1850’s Virginia. Josephine is a 17-year old house-girl with a hidden talent for painting who tends to the mistress of a Virginia Tobacco farm. Lina Sparrow is a justice-driven lawyer who is trying to win a class-action suit seeking reparations for the descendents of American slaves. In seamless juxtaposition between past and present, Conklin intertwines the stories of these two women, highlighting the redemptive nature of art and the stirring openings that can arise when secrets are unveiled and truth is sought. A beautiful book that is meant to be re-gifted again and again.

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S.M.C.
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ISBN: 9780062207395
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: William Morrow - February 12th, 2013

We Sinners by Hanna Pylväinen

This is a contemporary read with a twist—telling the story of a current day fundamentalist Christian family at the crossroads; characters are caught between the cultural fissures of their strict church and that of ordinary America. The family in this debut novel in many ways feels just like that of any other family, the sibling rivalries, the loving chaos that ensues with so many children, the overwhelming love and also stifling atmosphere that occurs with attentive parenting. But the book also calls to the issue of faith—how it can bind a family together but also divide it. This is a stunning novel that is powerfully empathetic, illuminating the dilemma between faith and love and the conflict that can arise if asked to choose between the two. It’s a book whose understated beauty stays long after its finish, by an author who is subtle enough to deftly convey such large themes—once finished, the satisfaction will be deeply felt, and suddenly, as the gift-giver, you’ll finally find yourself in that coveted place of getting the next call for just the right book to recommend.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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We Sinners: A Novel Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781250032188
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Picador - July 23rd, 2013

Astray by Emma Donoghue

Astray is historical fiction for the true history buff. It arose from research; every piece in this collection is based on a true occurrence, snippets and anecdotes and stories that Emma Donoghue stumbled across in archives and libraries. Donoghue fictionalizes these nearly-lost tales, restoring vibrancy and voice to them, and reminding us that our history is far more complex and authentic than we know.
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Kat
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$15.00
ISBN: 9780316206280
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - October 22nd, 2013

The Society of Timid Souls by Polly Morland

What is it to be brave? With wit, deep integrity, and sharp research, documentary film-maker Polly Morland sets out to pursue this question again and again, and oh, my goodness, we should be forever grateful to her that she did. Weaving her own personal struggle with self-doubt, with that of face-to-face interviews with ordinary people who rose to take extraordinary actions, ranging from soldiers on the battlefield, to the lone child who risked speaking out against a bully in the lunchroom, this book is a synthesis of seeking and finding. It is a tapestry of memoir and brilliant investigative reporting, of moral philosophizing and world traveling adventure, of inward reflection and outward connecting—by exploring bravery, Morland reveals tales of extraordinary courage that are extreme and stunning, but she also reminds us of the bravery and courage that lies in all of us. A deeply rich and inspiring read that reminds us of the sacred--that even in challenging times, humanity is brimming with hope and potential.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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The Society of Timid Souls: Or, How to Be Brave Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780307889065
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - July 9th, 2013

On the Map by Simon Garfield

On the Map presents the idea that maps have been more important to the development of civilizations than language. Garfield has written a fascinating, international narrative that runs from treasure maps to Google maps (which, bizarrely, still employs the Mercator projection. You'll learn about that, too). Whether you rely on paper or have gone completely GPS, you'll never think about maps the same way. Prepare to have your mind blown.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781592407804
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Avery - November 5th, 2013

Electrified Sheep by Alex Boese

Electrified Sheep is proof that science can be stranger than fiction. Alex Boese's hilarious book is history of bizarre experiments in a wide range of fields, from physics and biology to psychology. Learn all about the American scientists who seriously considered nuking the moon, or the psychologist who hid beneath beds in a women's dormitory to eavesdrop on unsuspecting students. Some people will do anything for their hypothesis, and Alex Boese's got the full scoop on them.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Electrified Sheep: Glass-eating Scientists, Nuking the Moon, and More Bizarre Experiments Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9781250031709
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - August 13th, 2013

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